Forty kilometers south of Chennai on the East Coast Road on the way to Mahabalipuram is a fishing village called Covelong. Covelong is found in Tamil Nadu where the nearest city is Chennai and it is separated from the mainland by the canal that runs from Chennai all the way to Mahabalipuram.
Also known as Kovalam or Cobelon, Covelong is a port town that was urbanized by the Nawab of Carnatic, Saadat Ali (Muhammad Sa’id Sa’adatullah Khan II) who ruled Carnatic, an area that includes the present day Chennai, from 1742 until his death in 1744. When the French arrived in 1746, led by French General Labourdonnais, they took over the area which was subsequently taken over and damaged by the British led by Robert Clive in 1752. During colonial times, the Dutch built a fort in Covelong that is now a private luxury beach resort known as the Taj Fisherman’s Cove, run by the Taj Group of Hotels.
The Taj Fisherman’s Cove is a beach hotel near Kanchipuram which is a city known for its fascinating stone temples. With 88 rooms and cottages, Taj Fisherman’s Cove has three restaurants and two bars. One of them, Bay-View Point, is an open-air restaurant that offers a wide array of seafood dishes. Candlelight or al fresco dining is available in the Upper Deck, which is known to have a mix of an Italian and Mediterranean menu. The third restaurant, The Seagull, offers a fusion of different cuisines with a coffee shop that offers Mediterranean and regional specialties. The Poolside Sunken Bar has a great and panoramic view of the beach and the entire resort, whilst the Anchor Bar offers a wide array of fine wines and alcoholic beverages amidst a tropically decorated interior.
This beach hotel also offers standard hotel facilities like air-conditioning, satellite television, international direct dial telephones, a mini bar, tea or coffeemakers and Internet connectivity. The garden cottages, sea-view cottages and luxury villas all have private lawns ideal for families and honeymooners. The hotel also has a conference hall for business meetings or conventions, a health club, fitness center, a 10,000 square feet swimming pool and indoor games (chess, carom, pool table and table tennis). Spa Vyana, the hotel spa, offers various therapies and treatments to help guests have a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation stay.
Covelong is also known for its water sports, specifically water skiing. The hotel’s water sport facilities also include catamaran rides, beach buggy rides, beach volleyball and fishing. There is also an outdoor tennis court and areas where cricket, tug of war and treasure hunts can be held.
Travelers must take note that the beaches near Chennai may be beautiful to look at, but because of the strong undercurrents, it is advised to avoid swimming in them. There are beach police looking out for people and any possible trouble along the shoreline. Since Covelong is located in India where culture and traditions are mostly conventional, travelers, most especially foreigners must avoid wearing swimsuits or any revealing clothes that are deemed inappropriate in Indian culture.